My Gear: Multi-Effects Processor – DigiTech RP500

DigiTech RP500
DigiTech RP500
If I were to have chosen my effects, I probably would have gotten individual pedals and built the effects that I wanted, however, I signed up for Musician's Friend's Weekly Gear Giveaway and won the DigiTech RP500. (Unfortunately, Musician's Friend no longer does the Weekly Gear Giveaway, which is sad, because it's always fun to get an email saying "You won!" no matter what the prize is.) I am very impressed with this pedal. It is made out of a cast metal chassis and has very sturdy "vacuum-style switches." When in preset mode, each of the five buttons on the bottom of the board can recall an assigned sound preset. At the press of a button you can enter into pedalboard mode, which allows the board to act as a bunch of individual pedals so that you can individually control a distortion, chorus/fx, delay, reverb, and a compressor. When in pedalboard mode, you can also access all of the programmed presets via the up/down footswitches, which will then change the tones, effects, etc. that the bottom footswitches control. The RP500 can be set to emulate the sound of any one of many great sounding amps, which is good for going directly into a sound system. You can also bypass the amp modeling to send a clean signal to an amp (or wherever you want to send it.) The expression pedal can be set to control volume or by taping the toe side of the pedal can instantly be changed into a wah pedal. Depending on the presets used, it can also be used to control Whammy and other effects. And there is a tap tempo switch for time-based effects. The bypass button on the top left of the board allows you to completely bypass the entire board to send a clean signal through to other effects or your amp/soundboard. By pressing and holding the bypass button down for two seconds the board enters tuner mode, which allows you to tune silently using the built in chromatic tuner. The board also gives a good variety of output choices. It features stereo XLR and 1/4" outputs, or you can use just the left channel for a mono signal. There is push-button toggle button that allows you to switch between an amp or a mixer feed as well as a ground lift switch. And there is a headphone jack allows you to practice without an amp of any kind. One nice feature of the RP500 is the USB port on the back of the unit. The USB connection will stream the audio to a computer for recording and also allows easy editing of all of the presets in the board through DigiTech's X-Edit Editor/Librarian software. There is an aux in on the back of the pedal which allows you to feed an auxiliary source such as an iPod into it. There are a couple of things missing in this pedal, the first being an effects loop which would be an output that would send the signal out any other pedals that you may have after the effects were added to the signal but before the amp modeling and then an input back into the board which would allow the amp modeling to be added. This is not a huge deal for me because I plan on bypassing the amp modeling anyway and using a decent amp (which I still need to purchase.) The second thing that the RP500 is missing is a looper, that would allow me to record loops that I would use to practice with. I have a Boss RC2 coming tomorrow which should take care of this problem, I will write about it when I get. From what I've read, the newer DigiTech RP1000 has solved both of these problems. This pedalboard has been fun to play with, it was easy to figure out straight out of the box, but beyond the simplicity, there is a lot to learn through experimenting with it and figuring out all of the ins and outs of how to effectivly use it in a live situation by setting up exactly the effects that I want to be able to have easy access to.pixelstats trackingpixel